Angels in danger of losing prospect Jose Rojas in Rule 5 Draft.

General Manager Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
General Manager Billy Eppler, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /
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The Road to the Show

2017 was Jose Rojas’ first full season in the MiLB and in that year he saw 185 plate appearances in Double A, at the age of 24, and logged a .227/.259/.360 slash line with 4 HRs and 20 RBIs. It was not the most impressive debut stint at Double A, although prior to this call-up Rojas was mashing the ball to the tune of a .319/.355/.479 slash line with 20 Doubles and 7 HRs in 317 High A plate appearances. Rojas was drafted by the Angels for his ability to make notably strong contact with the ball, though the main concerns surrounding his development regarded whether his power would develop into a more significant form as he learned to hit with more sophisticated form.

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The following year, in 2018, Rojas showed off the first real signs of developing most important ability any prospect can have; the ability to adapt and evolve. That year Rojas found himself returning to Double A for 352 plate appearances while collecting a .304/.381/.554 slash line, which included 17 HRs and 21 Doubles.

Of course the dreaded learning curve presented itself once more upon Rojas’ introduction to Triple A in 2018. During his Triple A time Rojas slashed just .217/.233/.261, though it was in an extremely limited 73 plate appearances. Not the greatest sample size, and surely not one to judge a developing prospects growth on.

Now before we continue there is one sticking point that needs to be addressed before we truly get into examining the exact value of Jose Rojas. The growth he displayed from 2017-2018 was significant enough to bring optimism to his continuing evolution, but the one factor that seems to (wrongfully) hurt his value is his age. Jose Rojas was 25 through the 2018 season, which again doesn’t sound so bad, but it was also just his second full-time season outside of rookie ball. There seems to be a general misunderstanding surrounding Rojas being that his age, at 26, shows that there is some type of developmental deficiency there. For the most part this isn’t an unfair scouting assessment to make, but at the same time it also has to be noted that Rojas wasn’t drafted into the Angels system until he was 23 years old. He didn’t see his first real MiLB at-bat until he was 24, an age when most prospects are already well underway with their development.